Monday, 31 December 2018

Happy New Year from Lush Places, Dorset

It's the last night of the year and it's already dark out there. It's only just past four o'clock.

I am useless with dark nights and dark mornings. My days become so truncated, I am at my least-efficient-worst. By four o'clock it's time to take the dog out and, once we've come back, well, it's time to get the supper ready.

The mornings are probably worse. I'm an early riser but it's not much fun walking the dog in the dark.

This was our view of Lush Places early on Boxing Day from Bluebell Hill.

By the time we approached the top, the sun was rising. The air was still, the odd bird was stirring and water droplets fell from rain-soaked leaves with a strange popping sound onto the beech nut floor.

It was a magical experience, this solitude. I closed my eyes and breathed in my surroundings. The dog and I walked around the top, pretending to be ancient Britons, with not a soul in sight, and then back down again, slurping through the mud, before the Boxing Day melee began.

Later, I lost it on Boxing Day, as I tried to get from my cooker to the sink in a crowded kitchen in an otherwise empty house. Faced with a wall of relatives, I yelled 'excuse me!' at the top of my voice. It was mostly my side of the family who were in the way so, luckily, not too much damage done.

Tonight I'll be in the pub for a film-themed New Year's Eve party, with DJ Landlord on the decks. I'm dusting off my Princess Leia wig and will take a deep breath before joining the happy throng.

In 2019, early morning walks are on the top of my New Year wish list. I want to get up there before anyone else does. Alone but not lonely. Immersed in nature and the seasons.

In the meantime, may your year be peaceful, happy, healthy and full of wonder.

That's about it.

Love Maddie x

Thursday, 13 December 2018

A glorious sunrise up on Lewesdon Hill, Dorset

And with Advent comes Christmas skies.

You couldn't wish for a better sight to greet you in the morning.

This morning, the trees were on fire in a purple haze.

Up on the hill, the trees are clad in warm lichen as they sway in the cold wind.

It may be cold outside but, oh, isn't it gorgeous?

Welcome to nature's temple. It's glorious up here.

That's about it.

Love Maddie x

Monday, 10 December 2018

The Christmas spirit arrives in Lush Places

The Christmas lights are on in the Lush Places Square and, so far, there have been no complaints over the garishness or otherwise of the strings of illuminations up on the trees above our doors.

In previous years, there have been mutterings over flashing lights or ones now quite fitting the 'warm white' brief.

Four years ago, the pub put up a tree which looked a bit like something else when lit up at night. I won't say what, you'll just have to jump to this link from way back when and see for yourself.

This year, the pub is looking very festive, with Betty and Bob, the two gnomes that stand in the front windows, dressed in full Santa gear, looking rather like yuletide Yodas either side of the door.

Up on the village green, the fir tree and its pretty lights sway in the wind, an advent beacon for the darkest time of year.

On Saturday night, out in the cold, DJ Landlord from the pub did the honours and counted down for the big switch-on, and the other trees around the Square slowly followed suit. Oxford Street has nothing on us.

We had a quick burst of 'We Wish You A Merry Christmas' before skedaddling off into the warmth of the pub where we were treated to mulled wine and mince pies and carols led by our angel of a vicar. The pub was jam-packed and in good voice, as we welcomed the most wonderful time of the year.

Yesterday evening, Home Alone was on the telly. All we need now is Die Hard and the Christmas spirit will be complete.

That's about it.

Love Maddie x

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